Tuesday, January 6, 2015

New Year, Old Goals, New Resolve

I keep seeing posts about new resolutions and goals, and while they are great, I feel like speaking up because my goals aren't new. The year is new. My resolve is new. My goals are the same. Maybe that sounds better, same goals rather than old.

I love marking the passing of time and reflecting on where we were last year at this time or 5 years ago or a decade ago. However, the start of a new year did not change my goals. It did not change my hopes or dreams. It just makes me realize that time is continuing to pass. I can either get more serious about accomplishing those goals, or I should probably change them. I'm not changing mine, but I am reminding myself of some ways to help accomplish them.

So while the goals remain the same: Love God, Love Family, Love Others (there's a mouthful), there are a few things that I want to try to remember this year.

Be gentle, with others and with myself. Frustrations come, and it's easy to get angry and harsh. That harshness never accomplishes good.

Be kind, with others and with myself. This quote says it all, "Be kind, everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

Be gracious, with others and with myself. I once heard grace defined as kindness undeserved. Others may not deserve my kindness, and sometimes I might not deserve it, but grace...oh, grace. I'm so thankful for it. Even when I have done nothing to deserve kindness or mercy, grace.

Forgive, others and myself. As one who has been forgiven, I can say it is a powerful thing. Sometimes we are slowest to forgive ourselves. If you're holding onto something and beating yourself up over it, maybe it's time to let it go. Ultimate forgiveness comes from God and brings freedom, joy and peace. If that's something you want to know more about, please ask me. But even those of us who know the forgiveness that Jesus brings are still guilty from time to time of holding onto hurt, anger and bitterness. Whether it is something petty, like a child giving attitude or something larger and deeper, anger is a poison and brings only death. Forgiveness brings life.

These are words I need to remember this year.

"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and if one has complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony." Colossians 3:12-14